The sustainable blue economy approach is bringing a growing recognition of the importance of ocean health for the sustainable development agenda. This is crucial for many SIDS for whom most economic activities are ocean based and where climate action is primarily ocean action.
During the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos last month, the ocean received a lot of attention. Five different sessions addressed topics like plastic pollution, the 30x30 ambition, blue carbon projects, businesses and nature-positive transitions, and finally the sustainable blue economy. During its G20 Presidency in 2022, Indonesia has launched the Ocean 20 (O20), an agenda aimed to provide policy recommendations and strategies to support the blue economy. India’s G20 presidency of 2023 also recognizes ocean health and prioritizes reduction in marine litter and marine plastic pollution and promotes a sustainable and climate resilient blue economy.
This increased recognition of ocean health by the international economic community, means that SIDS can work hand-in-hand with partners to protect and restore the health of the global ocean. For example, the development of research capacity and the transfer of marine technology can support a blue recovery by restoring the blue capital but also by creating sustainable livelihoods. In addition, collaboration with development partners and public-private partnerships can help build capacity to recover from shocks.
In reality, many SIDS are keen to sustainably harness the opportunities presented by a healthy ocean through the blue economy approach. UNDP has just published a policy guidance that seeks to unpack what the blue economy might look like for SIDS, advises on how to enable it, and provides guidance on how to develop and implement a blue economy strategic framework at the national level. The document is primarily intended for decision- and policymakers with responsibility for planning and delivering social and economic benefits and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem services provided by the ocean.
Read the full SIDS Bulletin 68 here.